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Thread Resurrection Etiquette


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#1 .josh

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:20 PM

Okay so I was bored.

Here is my personal guide to determining the proper lifespan of a thread.  Heed my advice or go on living the rest of your life with a little empty hole in your heart; the choice is yours.

All you have to do to get a feel for the 'rules' for resurrecting a thread is determine the average lifespan of threads on a given board.  Hopefully by using my guide along with the examples listed, you can determine for yourself these unwritten rules.  If you find it is not helpful, then chances are, you weren't paying attention.  If at any point in time you have to get up and go to the potty, you may do so, but only if you really really have to go.  Just remember though, if you shake it more than twice, you're playing with it. In that event, I highly recommend starting over at the beginning of this guide, as you will most likely have forgotten all the words of wisdom I have thusfar tried to bestow upon you.

In my experience, most threads can be classified under 4 major categories: Debate, Discussion, Spam, and Support.  These 4 major categories are ordered more or less by their average lifespans.

Debate - A thread in which an idea or principle is discussed and/or argued.  Everybody has their opinions that may or may not be based on fact, and the idea is to pick apart the opponent(s)'  assertions, whilste simultaneously pushing forward yours.  The central goal is to be the proverbial king of the hill, and therefore, I dub these threads the "king of the hill" threads.

Discussion - A thread in which people talk about random stuff.  What kind of movies do you like?  Who is your favorite actor? Who do you think will win the superbowl? A discussion thread is very similar to a debate thread, except that it is less 'serious.' The goal is more or less to compare opinions in an effort to be more sociable.  However, discussion threads can very easily turn into debate threads.  I like to raise my cup to the idea of calling these threads "tea party" threads. 

Support - A thread that involves asking a specific question about something.  The lifespan of the thread is mostly determined by the nature of the problem, but since the goal of most support related boards is to resolve issues as quickly as possible, these threads tend to have very short lifespans.  I shall call these threads "google" threads, and hope that I do not get sued.

Spam - For starters, pretty much every game thread goes under this category.  Caption contests, person above me's, picture threads, asl threads, omg i'm bored threads, look what i found while surfing threads, etc...  Spam threads have the potential to have the longest lifespans, because many a user likes to use it as a thinly veiled attempt to increase their post count.  But most of these threads end up being closed or deleted, due to the fact that they are well, spam.  I call these threads "artificially increasing my post count" threads, or AIMPC threads.  I swear, it is totally a coincidence that if you break that down into AIM and PC, you get the acronym for AOL Instant Messenger, which just so happens to be on your Personal Computer. 



Okay having established these 4 basic types of threads, we must then consider what type of content a board offers.  Now in reality, most boards offer forums for all of the above, but if you actually open your eyes and read the big bolded letters everywhere, you can usually figure out fairly quickly what any given board generally tries to focus on.  Since threads are generally microcosms of the forums and boards themselves, we can more or less apply these same basic definitions to actual websites, with minimal alterations.

Because every board is every bit as unique as the individual threads they hold, rather than generalize, I shall attempt to portray this principle by using real board examples of the boards I more or less exclusively go to. 

Example #1: The Darwin Awards Forum a.k.a DAF http://forum.darwinawards.com
The DAF is a classic example of a debate board.  Sure, we have our shallow end where the really smart people can come hang out with the not so smart people and engage in 'lewd, crewd and sometimes shrewd' activities, but there is no debate whatsoever, that most of the forums and threads are geared towards debate.  And to prove it, I will bet my lunch money on the fact that someone here will quote this paragraph and open a discussion about whether me saying "there is no debate whatsoever" can be considered a play on words or not, or even if it could, if it should, and if/if not, what would (or would not), and then how all of that fits into the grander scheme of the universe. 

Example #2: Funky Frog forums www.funkyfrogforums.com/forums
Even though I have not been a member at this board for very long, I can easily classify it as a discussion board.  Yes, they have their 'serious' forums and threads, and they have their game threads, but most of all I look around and see a giant hangout for casual conversation.  And I don't think they would take offense to that, because I think that's what the place was intended to be. 

Example #3: PHP Freaks www.phpfreaks.com/forums
Classic example of a support forum.  You go there, learn some server side scripting, ask a question, leave.  Extremely high thread turnover rate.  We consider threads 1-3 days old to be 'dead' unless the OP keeps it alive.  And if the thread is deemed 'solved,' it is nothing less than sacrilege to post in it.  Even if it is a completely relevant question, posted 5 minutes after the last post.  Start your own thread or die.

Example #4: Little Ninjai http://forums.ninjai.com
A board for the fans of this popular flash series, hosted by atom films.  Again, it has it's 'food for thought' forum, etc.. but the main hangout there is the 'veterans discussion.'  That forum is all about the spam.  Virtually all of the regulars have 2-6 separate usernames, each one having anywhere from 2k-10k+ posts.  Shameless, moldy spam.  Here are the stats of just one of many threads there:

Thread name: Game - the person above me on this board
Date of first post: 12-06-2001, 06:22 PM
Current Posts: 58,135

And this was not the original person above me thread.  The original thread got somehow irretrievably lost. It had over 200k posts in it. Enough said.



Again, by determining the predominant thread type, you can more or less figure out the main focus of a board, and therefore more or less figure out the resurrection rules of the locals.

So there you have it: a quick guide to determining proper thread resurrection etiquette.  If you have found this guide useful, please send a donation in my general direction.  If you did not, then there is no hope for you and may God have mercy on your soul.

The end.


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#2 redbullmarky

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 09:55 AM

^^^ the person above me was REALLY bored.

jk.
good post tho. does get a bit annoying seeing old threads getting bumped all the time - although i do think there's space on EVERY forum for at least one 'legendary', immortal thread full of nothing but smalltalk.
"you have to keep pissing in the wind to learn how to keep your shoes dry..."

I say old chap, that is rather amusing!




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